Dirkjan Vis of Eurolutions tells us about its online publishing agency and the effects of the health pandemic.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Dirkjan Vis: My family is doing quite well, thanks for asking. Luckily, the impact of Covid on me directly was quite small.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Eurolutions.
Dirkjan Vis: It all started very slow, to be honest. During my study, I made some websites and online stores for businesses in my neighborhood. After graduation, I looked for a job for a while but liked being an entrepreneur more. I wrote a lot about my own experiences on my own blog, and when those started to rank in search engines, I got some requests for advertisements. That was the start of my own company.
How does Eurolutions market its product/services online?
Dirkjan Vis: We don’t really have products or services. As an online publishing agency, we help other companies market theirs by informing their target audience in blogs or advertisements.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Dirkjan Vis: It did. At first, it was quite hectic. Mostly internally because we couldn’t go to the office, and although we already worked from home often, that was always just for a day or two. Suddenly we had to work from home for weeks. Personally, I had kids at home who couldn’t go to school, and my planning became quite messed up. Because of the uncertainty in the world, we also lost some of our oldest clients. But in the end, it turned out to have a positive effect on our company. Because of covid, there were no business events, and a lot of those budgets were spent online. Prices of advertisements went up, and because all our time was now focused on our websites, they kept going strong. We even launched a few new ones such as Investmentplatforms.EU and Obligatiemarkt.nl.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Dirkjan Vis: Quite a lot. Mostly SEO tools such as SE Ranking, SurferSEO, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, and, of course, Google Search Console. I also use Mangools for keywords.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dirkjan Vis: We have no real competitors that do the same as us, but as an online publishing company, everything that competes with us in the search engine result pages or with similar topics in newspapers or blogs can be seen as competitors. I guess the government is, therefore, our biggest competitor as we often write about how to start (an online) a business, how to finance it, or how to grow an eCommerce business. The Dutch Chamber of Commerce or tax authorities often write about those topics as well.
Your final thoughts?
Dirkjan Vis: For quite a long time, covid has been devastating to hospitality or event business sectors. However, afterward, we can say that the impact on the entire economy was probably way smaller than most experts would have guessed. Of course, a lot has changed, and the influence was big, but companies have adjusted a lot. The economy turns out to be flexible, which might be one of the biggest lessons for us all. It is easy to panic once you see things change, and you don’t know what these changes will bring for the near future. But as an entrepreneur, you always have to keep an eye on what’s going on in the world and prepare.
Other lessons are to have patience. Sometimes, the world might just panic, but it is always just for a short time. Yes, after it, things often have changed. But as long as you are able to adapt, after each period of change, new opportunities will happen. The best way to prepare for that is to keep your cool and just try to adjust. Being flexible is the best way to survive a crisis such as a covid pandemic.